I ran into a friend from my old hometown last weekend, and she mentioned how much she missed our walks. We had been faithful walking partners for a long time. After one or the other of us drove our kids to school, we’d walk three or four miles a day, five days a week, hot weather, cold weather, and anything in between. We talked about our kids, our husbands, our diets (usually about how they were not going according to plan), our friends, our families, our farms, how hard it was to get jeans that fit. We even talked sometimes about politics and religion. That’s what kind of friends we were. Oh, and we laughed. A lot.
There were two major things that made us so compatible. We walked fast, and we had plenty to talk about. We’d both had other walking partners, but what they called walking we called strolling, and what we called walking they called running from a fire. Walkers and strollers do not great exercise partners make. And then the conversation . . . One of our neighbors once told us that he knew when we were coming even if he couldn’t see us because we sounded like a gaggle of geese.
Well, now that I’ve moved away, I have new exercise partners. Now, I run with the cows. I live about six-or-so miles from town, and much of our country lane is bordered by pastures. But my new exercise partners are not nearly as motivated or as friendly as my former one. In the early spring, during calving season, many of them are skittish and dart away as soon as they see me. In the summer, when it’s hot, they just stand along the fence and stare at the stupid human running and sweating while they try to be as still as possible. In winter, they’re fickle. Sometimes they won’t even look at me—it all depends on which way the wind is blowing.
I guess the cows and my ipod are okay company. But, I really miss walking with you, too.